Preparing and Engaging Staff

The contributions of a residential facility’s management team, staff, and volunteers are crucial to caring well for children throughout a transition. They often care deeply for the children and may be concerned about what transition means for children’s safety and wellbeing. It’s important to address these and any other concerns and to give staff concrete ways to remain informed and engaged. Those who have worked as caregivers, for example, often have valuable insight regarding children’s individual backgrounds, needs, and preferences. Participation in forums, planning groups, and other opportunities for dialogue allow staff to express their concerns, share their ideas, and prepare for and work in partnership with the changes.

Protecting and caring for children in family care requires careful thought to training, recruiting, and supporting the people who can do the work. Some staff may be able to transition to new roles such as community social workers, family service providers, or foster parents. These individuals can benefit from mentoring, access to supportive supervision, and professional development. Other staff whose jobs are phased out can benefit from information and support to help them come to terms with the transition, as well as linkages to alternative job placement opportunities. A family care model may require new staff to fill roles that require professionally trained social workers or other paraprofessionals trained in child protection and case management.

Changing Mindsets and Practice: Engaging Christian Faith-Based Actors in Deinstitutionalisation and Child Welfare Systems Reforms Provides insight into what ‘deinstitutionalization’ might look like and what steps and processes and people might be involved. Contains a brief overview of the technical stages and guidance through the process of achieving buy-in. (ACCI Relief)

The Role of Social Service Workforce Development in Care Reform Explores the topic of social service workforce strengthening as it relates to transitioning care. Useful resource with practical and accessible overview for use by policy makers, practitioners, and service providers in contexts that are considering the implications of transition on the social service workforce. (Better Care Network and Global Social Service Workforce Alliance)

The Way We Care: A Guide for Managers of Programs Serving Vulnerable Children and Youth Provides a “self-teach” manual designed to help new and recently promoted managers of programs serving vulnerable children and youth. Promotes child-focused and family-centered approaches. (FHI 360)

Para Professionals in the Social Service Workforce: Guiding Principles, Functions and Competencies Provides a set of principles that will be a useful base from which to develop programs and activities related to how social service paraprofessionals can be trained, developed, deployed, and supported. (Global Social Service Workforce Alliance)

The State of the Social Service Workforce 2015 Report Provides information on the social service workforce around the world, including different cadres of workers, and showcases innovative and effective workforce-strengthening initiatives. (Global Social Service Workforce Alliance)

Guidelines on Children’s Reintegration Includes guidance on stages of reintegration (both emergency and nonemergency contexts), case management process, working with family, post-reunification support and monitoring, and reintegration within the wider continuum of child protection. (Family for Every Child)


Webinar 20: Development of the Child and Youth Care Work Profession Includes panel presentations: Definitional Framework for Child and Youth Care Work, Characteristics of Child and Youth Care Work, Para-Social Service Competencies Developed by the Alliance, Supervision of Child and Youth Care Workers, Development work of the Zambian Association of Child Care Workers, and Statutory Regulation of South African Child and Youth Care Workers. (Global Social Service Workforce Alliance)

Webinar 14: Deinstitutionalizing the Alternative Care System for Children: Implications for the Social Service Workforce with Learning From Rwanda and Moldova Discusses the implications of deinstitutionalization for the social service workforce, with specific experiences presented from Rwanda and Moldova. (Global Social Service Workforce Alliance and Better Care Network)